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Post-Gaddafi Libya Turning Into A ‘Lawless Ruin’

From the UK’s Independent:

Special report: We all thought Libya had moved on – it has, but into lawlessness and ruin

Libya has plunged unnoticed into its worst political and economic crisis since the defeat of Gaddafi

By Patrick Cockburn | September 3, 2013

… Libya has almost entirely stopped producing oil as the government loses control of much of the country to militia fighters.

Mutinying security men have taken over oil ports on the Mediterranean and are seeking to sell crude oil on the black market. Ali Zeidan, Libya’s Prime Minister, has threatened to “bomb from the air and the sea” any oil tanker trying to pick up the illicit oil from the oil terminal guards, who are mostly former rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi and have been on strike over low pay and alleged government corruption since July.

As world attention focused on the coup in Egypt and the poison gas attack in Syria over the past two months, Libya has plunged unnoticed into its worst political and economic crisis since the defeat of Gaddafi two years ago. Government authority is disintegrating in all parts of the country putting in doubt claims by American, British and French politicians that Nato’s military action in Libya in 2011 was an outstanding example of a successful foreign military intervention which should be repeated in Syria.

In an escalating crisis little regarded hitherto outside the oil markets, output of Libya’s prized high-quality crude oil has plunged from 1.4 million barrels a day earlier this year to just 160,000 barrels a day now. Despite threats to use military force to retake the oil ports, the government in Tripoli has been unable to move effectively against striking guards and mutinous military units that are linked to secessionist forces in the east of the country.

Libyans are increasingly at the mercy of militias which act outside the law. Popular protests against militiamen have been met with gunfire; 31 demonstrators were shot dead and many others wounded as they protested outside the barracks of “the Libyan Shield Brigade” in the eastern capital Benghazi in June…

The strikers in the eastern region Cyrenaica, which contains most of Libya’s oil, are part of a broader movement seeking more autonomy and blaming the government for spending oil revenues in the west of the country. Foreigners have mostly fled Benghazi since the American ambassador, Chris Stevens, was murdered in the US consulate by jihadi militiamen last September. Violence has worsened since then with Libya’s military prosecutor Colonel Yussef Ali al-Asseifar, in charge of investigating assassinations of politicians, soldiers and journalists, himself assassinated by a bomb in his car on 29 August.

Rule by local militias is also spreading anarchy around the capital. Ethnic Berbers, whose militia led the assault on Tripoli in 2011, temporarily took over the parliament building in Tripoli…

Meanwhile, as the article notes, Obama and company are still citing Libya as a shining success, and their model for Syria.  As we have observed before: ‘History might not repeat itself, but stupidity sure does.’

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, September 4th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Post-Gaddafi Libya Turning Into A ‘Lawless Ruin’”

  1. President mom jeans isn’t going to offer any help to the Lybians either. First, because that would bring attention to his previous incompetence, and second, because the Prime Minister of Lybia basically called him, HRC and Rice all liars on national TV when they said the terrorist attack in Benghazi was a protest gone wrong.

  2. Nature abhors a vacuum.

    “A State Department debacle will go round the world while Goodness is pulling its boots on.”

    (apologies to Mark Twain)




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